Aging facilities may cost Montreal its grand prix

Pauline Marois and her entourage with Bernie Ecclestone in Montreal

Pauline Marois and her entourage with Bernie Ecclestone in Montreal

Quebec prime minister Pauline Marois met with Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone on race day in Canada and vowed to work hard to safeguard the future of the race in Montreal.

Reports have indicated that the historic race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, on Ile Notre Dame, could be in doubt beyond 2014 due to the lack of a tripartite funding agreement between the various levels of government.

But Marois was quoted by Canadian Press news agency after her brief meeting with Ecclestone: “I said to him ‘We have to conclude a win-win agreement’. I think he agrees with me.”

It has been reported the race requires additional funding for a new contract due to Ecclestone’s demands for the ageing circuit facilities to be updated.

“I remain optimistic,” promoter Francois Dumontier said. “Negotiations are moving forward between all parties and the tone is favourable.”

Ecclestone, however, indicated during an interview with Radio-Canada that he is prepared to play hardball.

“I like Montreal but as far as the race is concerned it’s not desperate, it’s not the only race in the world,” he said. (GMM)

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  • jay

    $15 million plus Gov. funding ,next year should be the last year we put up with Bernie…let N.J. have this B.S.

  • Ian Mac

    Ecclestone has cancelled the Canadian GP in the past when he didn’t get the money he demanded. He’s a seriously greedy player who never dispenses any funds from his enormous income. Montreal should consider replacing F1 with Moto GP bikes, ie better racing at far less cost, or with Indycars, ditto.

  • shibby

    Ian, the track is way too dangerous (narrow) for motogp. And because of the water (it’s on an isle) not possible to change (widen) the track. 2 wheel racing in monaco or montreal is 100% chance of fatality.

  • michaelprescottmacarthur

    I guess bernie wants all of the races to go to the asian and arab tracks.